WASHINGTON, Oct. 19, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The Consumer Advocacy Group today released the results of a SurveyMonkey poll of 1,505 consumers that found the overwhelming majority (94 percent) are against Congress passing H.R. 347 to exempt the credit bureaus from the Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA). H.R. 347, if passed, would exempt the credit bureaus from adhering to CROA, the federal law which these agencies are currently required to follow. The Credit Bureaus, under the guise of being able to provide immediate consumer credit education if exempted from the law, would be able to begin selling a product to consumers without having to adhere to federal regulations that other businesses must obey.
CROA currently prevents the credit bureaus from charging consumers in advance for any work done by the bureaus to improve their credit reports. The bureaus must also currently give consumers a 3 day cancellation grace period, during which those consumers may change their minds when entering into any contract for work related to improving their credit files. If H.R. 347 was passed into law the credit bureaus would no longer have the "burden" of informing consumers about their rights under the law, as they must do presently, before contracting with consumers to improve their credit.
The survey also asked consumers if they trust the three major credit bureaus (TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax) and in an overwhelming majority (87 percent) consumers clearly do not trust the credit bureaus whatsoever. The survey further questioned consumers regarding the $6 million fine the credit bureaus paid to 31 states' attorneys general in a 2015 settlement over reporting policies and procedures. 83% of survey participants believed that the $6 million fine would not be enough to make the credit bureaus change their ways.
"This survey offers a very clear picture of how consumers trust and view the three major credit bureaus," said Robby Birnbaum, President of the National Association of Credit Services Organizations. "Congress must be mindful of consumer protection concerns and not be swayed into a sense of safety just because the Bureaus say so," Birnbaum said.
Additional findings of the survey are included as follows:
93% of consumers are very concerned about their credit reports and/or credit scores
89% of consumers indicated that poor credit has caused loan denial or the postponement of a major purchase for either themselves or a member of their family.
94% believed that Congress should NOT pass H.R. 347
88% of consumers felt that if H.R. 347 was passed it would create an unfair environment between the exempted credit bureaus and the businesses which would still be required to obey federal law (CROA).
The poll was conducted via SurveyMonkey on behalf of The Consumer Advocacy Group among a national sample of 1,500 consumers from October 3 to October 13, 2016. Based on the random sample size and an approximation of the US population, the margin of error is +/- 3 percent with a 95 percent confidence interval.
The Consumer Advocacy Group is an organization devoted to helping consumers understand and improve their credit through guidance, assistance, and education.
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SOURCE The Consumer Advocacy Group